Cedric Montminy inched closer to the 20-goal mark and Eric Israel potted his first of the season coupled with an assist, but the Indy Fuel power play and Matt Marcinew’s four-on-four winner in the final two minutes powered the visitors to a 3-2 win over the Rapid City Rush on Saturday night. The loss halts the three game win streak of the Rush with the anchor of this four-game series coming tomorrow afternoon.
Both teams exchanged blows in the first period, leaving tied after 20 minutes. Spencer Watson got Indy on the board just 1:59 into the game on the Fuel’s first power play of the game, rifling a Josh Dickinson pass by Rush net-minder Dave Tendeck, giving Indy an early 1-0 advantage (Dickinson and Jared Thomas assisted). On the penalty kill frequently in the first, the Rush fought one off and Cedric Montminy tied it within seconds of coming out of the penalty box. At 4:47, Eric Israel launched a “Hail Mary” to Montminy in neutral ice, with the latter shaking off defenders and finishing with a top shelf laser past Fuel goalie Billy Christopoulos to square the game at 1-1 (Israel and David Quenneville assisted).
Israel continued his stellar play, culminating in his first goal of the season with the only goal of the second period. At 6:44, Avery Peterson entered the Rush attacking zone, danced around a defender, and found Israel in the slot. Israel’s shot whizzed by Christopoulos to put the Rush ahead 2-1 (Peterson and Peter Quenneville assisted).
Penalties added up for the Rush, and Spencer Watson found his name on the scoresheet with another tally on the man-advantage. Just seconds after the Rush killed off a five-on-three disadvantage, Watson collected the puck in the high slot and rifled a shot right before the Rush skater got to him out of the penalty box, squaring the game at 2-2 at 4:57 of the final frame (Jared Thomas and Josh Dickinson assisted). Late in the game, both teams skated through a period of four-on-four hockey, and Indy utilized a quick strike late to take the lead. With 1:54 left in the game, and seven seconds remaining before the Rush went on a late power play, Willie Raskob threw a wrist shot on net from the blue line. Tendeck made the initial save, but Matt Marcinew, while sprawling in front of the net, banged home the loose rebound to put Indy up 3-2 (Raskob assisted). The Rush earned power play time for the remainder of the game, but untimely broken sticks and Fuel shot blocks thwarted any comeback attempt, giving Indy the eventual 3-2 win.
Dave Tendeck, making his fourth consecutive start, stopped 21 of 24 shots in the loss (11-12-0-0).
The Rush continue their seven-game homestand, and conclude their four game in five day series against the Indy Fuel. Puck drop for tomorrow, May 23rd, is slated for 4:05 p.m. MDT at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena.